Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Motivational Monday

I'm not sure why we choose Monday as our sewing day. I wish I could remember when it started - OH - Diane will know. She's been there pretty much from the start. But it's been years. Fifteen??

It all started out as a day when my students (from classes at the Hobby Horse) could come and get help (if they needed it) or they could just come and sew. For years when we were sewing at The Hobby Horse, I never had a spot to sew as I was the "supervisor". I used to prep stuff (hence the huge amount of prepped stuff at my house - I'm sure there is still stuff hanging around that I cut during those days). Then a number of years ago, we moved to the church and now I have a spot to sew as well. Gosh - how long have we been at the church? Four years? At least and part of that time, I couldn't sew since I was working.

Here's an invitation to any of you in the area. If you want, we always have room for a guest or two. The cost is $6 per day. We're there from 8 until almost 3. Guaranteed, you'll get something done - it's an extremely productive and friendly environment. E-mail me if you want to get more information.

But choosing Monday was a great thing. It makes a bad day (most people don't like Monday since it's the start of the work week), but it makes a bad day GREAT!!!!  It's my favorite day of the week and I really feel like I'm settling in and actually accomplishing something.

I've been VERY disciplined about what I do on Monday (since I had my freedom from a desk job) and I haven't looked back since.

Yesterday was an example of how great Mondays can be. I don't normally get a chance to sew on my own stuff at home. That's a HUGE problem. More on that later on in this post.

I sewed a lot on my little ender/leader project and was running out of the red AGAIN. So like the good, organized sewist that I am, when I got home, I cleaned out that Monday bag and got it all reorganized for next week. The first thing I did was to cut more of the red squares. The remainder of the red fabric (not cut) is in the bag so it's very handy should I need to cut more. Of course, I didn't take the time to count how many I need. That's a waste of time. I just cut more and I'll keep doing that until I get down to near the end when it's easier to count.

More red squares cut for the ender/leader project
I had a couple of small things that I had thrown into the Monday bag. I'm trying to be very good and not loading it down with stuff that I'll never get to. Oh no!!! I have my weekly blocks to sew, a big project and a couple of small things in the event I get to a point where I need a break.

This next one was one of those small projects. I had received a sample of Moda's Cake Mix Recipes at a trade show. There were two 10" squares and the paper to make half square triangles. I was a wee bit disappointed that it was only for making big half square triangles, but no worry. I made them. Oops - just checked - I had the recipe for number FOUR (you can see it in that link above) - it's half square triangles that are all the same size.

Cake Mix Recipe for half square triangles   (Recipe #4)

I'm not sure that I like this method for making half square triangles. Granted, you don't have to mark them, but you still have to be careful when cutting them apart. Any slip and some of those triangles will not be the same size. Then you have to remove the paper (not always an easy feat to get all the paper out) and then you still have to trim off the dog ears.

Dog ears need to be trimmed
But there are my half square triangles which are now in the pile of prepped half square triangles that I'll use for a quilt someday. And that little sample pack - DONE!!!!

Half square triangles are done!
These pictures are NOT in the right order. In fact, I think they are totally backward. I needed to move onto another project and this is what I pulled out of the bag. These flying geese were together as flying geese units, but not sewn in these rows. I managed to get that done yesterday. Very excited - this is going to be my next "must finish" project for Monday.

Flying geese sections are together
 Here are the rest of the components, already assembled and now need to be sewn into blocks. And what am I making this time???

Block components waiting to be sewn 

Here's the pattern (Signs of Autumn) - it's by Deb Tucker (Studio 180).  You can make a table runner or a wall hanging. I see from the number of components that I have, it's the wall hanging I'm making. I still had six extra flying geese. And note that the extra fabric is also with the project.  Yeah me!!!

Extra fabric and pattern for next Monday project
 So, if I'm working on a "new" project, that means, I must have finished the other one I was working on. Yep. The squirrels are DONE!!! This is a pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts.

Top of the squirrel quilt is done!!!

And there's the backing and the binding made as well. This one goes in the "to be quilted" pile which is getting higher by the day!!!

Backing, binding, and top ready to be quilted

But the first thing I worked on was my weekly dose of blocks. I needed to do the applique on the handle of this block so the remainder of the bits got sewn at Monday and when I got home, I got out the thread and applique presser foot and sewed the handle down. I sewed the block together and then looked at it. Hmmm - I must have done something wrong.

Hmm - shouldn't that handle touch the rest of the blue??
 After ripping the block apart (with my new handy dandy seam ripper - did you see yesterday's post?), I realized that the components were correct, it's the handle that is too short (I did cut quite a bit off both ends). After consulting the pattern, that handle is supposed to come down onto the brown triangles at the end of the blue. How the heck am I going to do that? This is a bit of a weird block and I was too befuddled to think about it. But I will find a way. Just a shame that I got home, got out the stuff to do the applique, did the applique, only to find it wasn't correct. DRAT!!!!!   BUT I was able to find more fabric to remake the handle.

OH - this is going to require weird applique or piecing or both
 Then I was working on this paper pieced block and was happy when it was done, only to realize that it's not supposed to look like this. I screwed up on the color, but I didn't have enough fabric with me (or in the project box) anyway.

Colors are in the WRONG position!!!
 See the pattern????  You would think I had no brain on my head yesterday with these blocks.

The bat block according to the book
I know - it's not a big deal, it can stay that way, but it doesn't have to.  I did manage to eek out 6 blocks (not counting that dreaded basket).

Six blocks - done!!!
 This is the Farmer's Wife project in case you had forgotten from last week. I have the next grouping of blocks out and ready to go for next week. I've decided to start at the beginning and fill in all the holes as I went willy-nilly the first time (actually followed the instructions made by Marti Michell). Hmm - just checked on Marti's website. I don't think the instructions are there anymore as she is having a sew along. Here's the link if you want more information. I'm not sure when they started. She used her templates to cut 101 of the 111 blocks. That's how I did it and the remaining ten, I'll be paper piecing after I recreate the pattern in EQ8. Anyway, I think I now have the first 14 blocks completed - well not really since the basket (#3) is still not done.

Getting lots of empty plastic bags. Not sure how many more blocks there are to do, but I'm guessing I still have about 8 weeks (48 blocks) of this to go. End of the summer!!!

Empty plastic bags

But it's super exciting that I'm getting stuff done. I just wish I was getting more stuff done at home.

When I got home and after I had sorted out the Monday bag and prepped it for next week (except for one block that I have to create a paper pieced pattern for - rather than do the templates from the book), I decided to tackle a project that I should have worked on MONTHs ago. It was a challenge piece for the CherryWood challenge. The deadline was midnight last night. I had worked on it all day Sunday and got the top done, although I wasn't happy with one of the thread colors I choose. I knew it from the beginning, but being in a rush, I didn't take the time to fix it. I know - STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!! Last night, I set out to quilt the piece and get the binding on before midnight. I was having trouble with the thread that I absolutely wanted for the quilting. I tried free motion, I tried non-free motion. I even tried a completely different machine It wasn't going to work.

And then I sat back and thought to myself - what am I doing to myself?? Quilting is supposed to be my hobby. It's supposed to be fun And this just wasn't fun. So I abandoned the project. Yep - I just said, "to hell with the deadline".  I'll take out what I don't like and I'll fix it the way I should have. Am I upset? Nope - not in the least. I learned a very valuable lesson though. Matter of fact, I might just leave this piece the way it is and remake it the way I SHOULD have done if I had given myself more time. I always do that!!!  I'm not a good planner that way and most times I can eek myself out of the situation. But not this time, I could not. Not a big deal - I do challenges to learn from them and I learned lots - therefore the challenge was a success. Yes - I think I'll leave this one the way it is and then I'll make it again - I still have enough fabric. It'll be a good thing to include in my challenge lecture. Oh - that makes me excited!!!!!

I shouldn't tell you this, but I was trying to do that challenge and I still had a quilt top that had to be pieced because it needs to be quilted TODAY. Yes - I'm not a very rational person at times. I'm happy to report that after going out for dinner with DH, I was back home, fired up my audiobook and pieced away in complete bliss. Ah - this is what quilting is all about.

I still have a lot to learn in the time management department. I don't know why I end up with all these rush deadlines. OK - stop kidding yourself. I know why - I leave things to the last minute. Seriously? Why do I do that? I leave no exit plan for myself which is a problem. If I want to spend more time sewing for fun, I had better get myself in gear for setting those deadlines. It's as simple as that!!!

On that note, I'm out of here! The quilt top is over half pieced and it should take about 2 hours to finish it this morning and then get it on the long arm and quilt it this afternoon. I still have a lot of e-mail that I need to send and I'm going to try and get those done today. We leave tomorrow for the retreat and I need this stuff off my plate before I go. Nothing serious, but would be nice to make it go away. And going to the movies this afternoon - see - that's what life should be all about - not rushing for some silly deadline.

This morning, I cleared out a TON of e-mail. Unread e-mails from companies that are trying to sell me something. Yes - there are one or two tidbits of stuff that I could have shared with you, but I'll be getting more e-mails today. No end of that. I shouldn't share with you the number of e-mails that are in my inbox, but let's say that it's in the four digits - but small four digits!!! I'm notorious for reading someone's e-mail and then not doing anything with it. I need to learn to use the DELETE key much more often.

And this audiobook is so exciting - I still have two hours to go or I would have stayed up last night and sewed, but I need my sleep!!!

Have a super day!!!!


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